Bar Ankh’ is the name by which our pha­ra­o­hs ance­stors knew the school and its mea­ning is the hou­se of life… In the mea­ning lies the value and con­tent that the school car­ri­es and the role it plays in the life of socie­ty, but the ance­stors’ inte­r­e­sts in the school rea­ched the point of cal­ling it ‘the hou­se of life’, mea­ning that educa­tion end sci­en­ce is about life…

Archa­e­o­lo­gi­cal discove­ri­es have proven the exi­sten­ce of schools in dif­fe­rent areas throug­hout anci­ent Egypt, as the­re was a school aro­und the (Rames­se­um) temp­le and ano­t­her in the city mona­ste­ry in the The­bes Ceme­te­ry (Luxor), and in the city establis­hed by Akhe­na­ten (Tell el-Amar­na area in Minya gover­nora­te) the archa­e­o­lo­gi­sts found the ruins of the Dar al-Hay­at school and it was made up of two buil­dings. A school was discove­red in the city of Ain Shams, a school of medi­ci­ne in Sas, a school in Aby­dos, in Tel Bas­ta, and other educa­tio­nal and moral valu­es were taught in the Pha­ra­o­nic School.

Scri­bes wri­ting the tel­ly of sla­ve tribute

Over­look­ing what was men­tio­ned in the Pha­ra­o­nic papy­ri that the archa­e­o­lo­gi­sts found (unfortu­na­te­ly, they are now in many famous muse­ums of the wor­ld, and the­re are not many of them in Egypt). We note that the ori­gin of the establis­h­ment of the school is to teach the child or stu­dent a set of moral and educa­tio­nal valu­es, which are the basis for buil­ding a nor­mal per­so­na­li­ty side by side with lear­ning to write. 

It is based on the idea that the­re is no value for know­led­ge wit­hout ethi­cs. Rat­her, the pha­ra­o­hs made their sages into the ance­stors of wri­ting, know­led­ge and wis­dom (and the god Jahou­ti and the god­dess Shath for books and libra­ri­es). The sages of the Pha­ra­o­hs with their wis­dom and sayings through the suc­ces­si­ve times of the Pha­ra­o­nic rule, cre­a­ted basic refe­ren­ces for tea­ching educa­tio­nal valu­es in the Pha­ra­o­nic school, and the­re are many examp­les of that.

Among them is the text of the papy­rus that Annie wro­te to his son, which is a proven refe­ren­ce for tea­ching in the schools of anci­ent Egypt.

Do not be mean or intru­si­ve. When you are in someone’s hou­se and see or hear somet­hing, remain silent. 

Do not reve­al it to any­o­ne. Do not be tal­ka­ti­ve and be care­ful in your words, becau­se the destruction of a per­son is in his tongue. Do not rely on others’ money.

If you were brought up and taken as a wife gift, remem­ber your mot­her, for she car­ri­ed you for a long time, and after your bir­th her breast was in your mouth for three years. She was not dis­gu­sted by your filth. After you ente­red school, she remai­ned caring for you.

Do not eat whi­le ano­t­her is stan­ding near you wit­hout rea­ching your hand with the bre­ad to him. Don’t be too heavy on your belly.

Do not make your­self the boss of your wife at home. Get to know her and help her.

Do not sit whi­le an older per­son stands, even if you are of hig­her stan­ding.

If you have lear­ned anyt­hing, then what is it?

Then comes the son’s respon­se to his father:

I wish I was like you and fol­low your advi­ce. Your words make my heart hap­py, and my mind under­stands them.

Look­ing at tho­se tips that were taught in the anci­ent Egyp­ti­an school, we find a set of valu­es that were implan­ted in the Egyp­ti­an per­so­na­li­ty … In light of all the histo­ri­cal chan­ges that have occur­red with the pas­sa­ge of many peop­le through our land (some­ti­mes in war and occu­pa­tion, some­ti­mes in pea­ce and eco­no­mic rela­tions) the Egyp­ti­an per­so­na­li­ty has pre­ser­ved what it owns and inhe­rits in terms of morals and behavi­o­rs that pre­ser­ved the balan­ce of Egyp­ti­an socie­ty and the rela­tions­hips of its members.

The educa­tio­nal role of the tea­cher in the Pha­ra­o­nic School

It seems not only for the tea­cher to teach wri­ting to the stu­dent in the anci­ent Egyp­ti­an school. The­re is a papy­rus that the tea­cher wro­te for the stu­dent: It was repor­ted to me that you neg­lected your stu­di­es and that you are playing in the road… Then the tea­cher con­vey­ed his per­so­nal expe­ri­en­ce and said to the stu­dent: When I was a boy like you, I stay­ed in the temp­le not leaving it for three months…

The­re are also the tea­chin­gs of Imno­bi by his son Hor Mak­ho, which were found in 1922. It inclu­des a rea­ding class and exerci­se in schools. It revol­ves aro­und doing good and the rules of straight behavi­or, and lite­ra­tu­re… And exhorta­tion to vir­tue and the glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of humi­li­ty and for­bid­ding the impulsi­vi­ty and uni­ty of anger. She wro­te a pra­cti­cal con­sti­tu­tion for life, explai­ning the duty of the employ­ee and urging him to be fair and hone­st in his work, loy­al to it. Tole­rant, away from fraud, the value of the school as an essen­ti­al cen­ter for lear­ning and knowledge.

Among the prescri­bed mate­ri­als for schools aro­und 1300 BC, are the tea­chin­gs of Khi­ti Dauwuf by his son Pepi, which are two papy­ri pre­ser­ved in the Bri­tish Muse­um. In it he said to his son:

Not­hing is hig­her than books. A per­son who wal­ks after others does not achie­ve suc­cess. I wish I could make you love books. The­re is no pro­fes­sion wit­hout a head except that of a wri­ter. He is the boss him­self. A day you spend in school is bene­fi­ci­al for you. Don’t let bad words come out of your mouth. Be con­vin­ced of your food even if it does not suf­fi­ce to satis­fy your sto­mach. Resist that fee­ling, and what I advi­se you to do, put it in front of you and your children.

Rulers and upbringing

The king Emi­nem­hat I, the tea­cher, was a gre­at king who left writ­ten advi­ce to his son Senus­ret. Most copies of the­se instructions were writ­ten down by school­chil­dren in the family in which he said: Listen to what I tell you until the coun­try improves. And good is achie­ved. Bewa­re of your subor­di­na­tes. I plan­ted whe­at and loved Naber the god of grain, and no one felt hungry during my time…


The Egyp­ti­an histo­ri­an Salim Has­san sta­ted: The school means “the hou­se of life” and stu­dents used to learn wri­ting and anci­ent lite­ra­tu­re in it and teacher‘s cor­rection are on the mar­gins of the papy­rus. All in all, Egyp­ti­ans were inte­r­e­sted in pre­pa­ring the pupil to master spel­ling and to give him an over­view of all that sur­ro­unds him.

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